Microsoft Soundscape is a free iOS app that provides travelers who are visually impaired or blind information about places around them in the environement. Soundscapes will announce names of stores, streets and the direction you are traveling. This app is designed to "fill in the gaps" in the traveler's mental map. Soundscape can be used in the background with turn-by-turn navigation apps. Soundscape creates a 3D audio map as you travel through the environment.
There are three buttons on the bottom of the screen:
- My Location: provides information about your current location, direction facing, nearby streets and intersections and nearby points of interest.
- Around Me: provides information about one thing in each direction (ahead, right, behind and left).
- Ahead of Me: provides five pieces of information about things coming up on either side of the street.
Add a Destination Beacon to provide an audible beacon sound from the direction of the beacon. This provides directional information ('as the crow flies'), not turn-by-turn information - about the direction of the desired destination. You can set any business or point of interest as a beacon as long as it appears in the Soundscape mapping system (Open Street Map). Note: The Destination Beacon is not a physical iBeacon that has to be placed in the desired location. The Beacon sound will get louder as you get closer to the destination.
Add a Reference Point as an orientation landmark to help confirm your route as you travel. Soundscapes will announce this reference point as you approach it.
The video below demonstrates people using the Soundscape app.